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Recipe 11.6. Copying a CD or DVD

11.6.1 Problem

You need to make copies of CDs or DVDs—data, audio, video, or any format.

11.6.2 Solution

To directly copy from the source disc to the recordable disc, use this command:

$ cdrecord -v dev=0,1,0 -isosize /dev/scd0

This is fast, but risky, because any interruption to the data stream will spoil the entire copy. It's better to cache it to a hard drive first. This example makes a dummy run first:

$ dd if=/dev/scd0 of=/tmp/diskfile.iso

$ cdrecord dev=0,1,0 fs=8m -v -eject -dummy /tmp/diskfile.iso

Simply delete the -dummy flag to write to disc.

11.6.3 Discussion

Remember that the 2.6 kernel doesn't need IDE-SCSI—just use the /dev name:

# cdrecord dev=/dev/hdc <commands>

Don't forget that you'll need a tmp file as large as the disc you're copying.

The dd command does a literal, byte-by byte copy. Its components are:


Input, or source, file.


/dev name for the drive. Be sure to use the correct /dev name for your drive (see Recipe Recipe 11.3). The disc does not need to be mounted.


Output, or destination, file.


Temporary copy of the source disc on the hard drive. Call it anything you want, as long as it has an .iso extension.

The cdrecord options are the same as in Recipe Recipe 11.4, with two new ones:


This defines the size of the ring buffer: the bigger the better, up to a point. Remember, interruptions are fatal; fs=8m creates a large enough buffer to keep the recorder working if something slows down the data transfer. If 8 MB isn't enough, you might need a better PC. On the other hand, more than 8 MB is not necessarily better, as the operating system can waste time reloading the Memory Management Unit (MMU) tables. The default is 4 MB.


A marvelous option for doing a dry run before risking an actual disc. The recorder does everything with the laser turned off, giving the user a chance to catch errors before committing them to disc.

11.6.4 See Also

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